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New androgynous International Docking System Standard Interface works both ways in space

Tim Stevens

There's nothing more embarrassing than trying to dock with your cosmonaut compatriots only to find that his port was made in metric, yours was crafted with the finest in ye olde imperial units. Such faux pas can now be safely avoided in space thanks to the newly agreed upon International Docking System Standard, or IDSS. It's an androgynous system that allows for the same portal design to be used on both ships and docking stations, meaning craft can pair up with stations, ships with ships, and any other groovy coupling you can think of. The standard was finalized last month and just released to the world, but we've managed to find stunning footage of an early prototype from 1973. That's embedded below for your scientific edification.

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